Teaching Writing Skills All Year Long: Grades 3-12

Featuring custom resources for grades 3-12

After you’ve devised a plan to launch your writer’s workshop during the first weeks of school, the next step is to look ahead toward the rest of the year. This online course is designed to guide K-12 teachers through the planning of a yearlong writing curriculum. This includes determining mini-lesson instruction, identifying frequent assignments, and communicating assessment feedback all within the three major types of writing— opinion/persuasive/argumentative, informative/expository, and narrative.

The video content for this course is exactly the same as the "Teaching Writing Skills All Year Long: Grades K-2" course, with one exception. When you enroll in this course, you receive a complimentary digital copy of Kristina's best-selling book, Launching the Writer's Workshop, Grades 3-12.



  • Define a "writing unit": its length, its focuses, and its final product(s).
  • Discover how often to "publish" a final draft and how frequently students should produce first drafts.
  • Identify procedures for selecting priority writing standards to target within each writing unit.
  • Learn strategies for teaching a writing skill over multiple days to deepen student understanding and gradually release responsibility to the students.
  • Learn effective ways to integrate convention/grammar skills throughout the year.
  • Learn how to incorporate mentor text examples and kid-friendly rubrics within a unit.
  • Receive suggestions for grading student writing and assessing students' understanding of a genre.

When you leave, you'll be able to:

  • Organize grade-level writing standards and grammar skills to be taught within any writing unit.
  • Embed the 6 Traits of Writing throughout the school year as you spiral through specific skills that are unique to each trait.
  • Speed up or slow down a unit to meet the needs of your writers.
  • Target isolated skills within intermittent "maintenance" mini-lessons throughout the year.
  • Assess mastery of writing skills via grades or standards-based reporting.
  • Teach writing with confidence and intentionality.

Top Questions Teachers Ask About a Yearlong Writer's Workshop

  • How do I find time in my daily schedule for writing?
  • How does a MS/HS teacher fit reading, writing, and grammar all into one class period?
  • How do I integrate my writing standards within my writing units?
  • How do I decide which skills I need to teach for each unit?
  • How many times should students write in the same genre?
  • How does grammar instruction fit into the writer's workshop?
  • How often should I offer free-choice versus prompted writing?
  • How can I grade/assess their writing more efficiently?

Kristina Smekens provides the answers to these questions and many more!


Your Instructor

Kristina Smekens
Kristina Smekens

A full-time literacy consultant, Kristina has built a reputation for using enthusiasm, humor, and common sense to equip K-12 educators with practical, demystifying strategies for teaching reading and writing.

As president and lead consultant for Smekens Education, Kristina is constantly developing new strategies to help teachers meet the demands of today’s College and Career-Ready Standards. She shares those strategies with teachers across the United States and beyond through on-site school trainings, regional seminars, and an always-growing pool of print, digital, and video resources.

Kristina has a gift for making the complex seem simple— for showing teachers how to meet the needs of readers and writers by bridging the gap between education research and classroom-tested strategies that work. Well known for offering innovative ideas, Kristina has created more than 50 “Smekens Originals,” a compilation of books, guides, and classroom tools designed to help teachers implement best-practice literacy strategies. Among the most popular of these resources are her best-selling books, Launching the Writer’s Workshop: Grades K-2, and Launching the Writer’s Workshop: Grades 3-12.

You are welcome to contact Kristina directly:



Contact Smekens Education toll free:

(888) 376-0448

What teachers say about this course

"I finally feel like I have the 'how' when it comes to teaching writing." Huston Mathias, Grade 8 US History & Writing teacher, Ingersoll Middle School, Canton, IL

"I have a plan/outline of how the rest of the year should/could look in writing. What was presented today piggy-backs off of the Launching the Writer's Workshop seminar, so all the pieces came together & made sense." L. Shepke

"I have a totally different view of what writer's workshop can look like! I feel it will make more sense, meet the standards, and show more growth." D. Grimes

"Thank you for peeling away the layers of a 'buried" area of teaching to make it fresh for me again!" J. Stout

"Wow! It has made me rethink my writing goals for my students! This workshop needs to be attended by all teachers responsible for writing with students. That would be all teachers." M. Linzmeier

"I really appreciate you addressing the troubleshooting ideas. Instead of teachers giving up and saying, 'That won't work,' you provided solutions to potential roadblocks. I am leaving this professional development energized and better prepared to help the teachers in our school system with their writing instruction. Thank you so much for providing phenomenal, workable resources! I loved every minute." Dr. Melanie Park, Huntington University Assistant Professor and Writing Coach for Huntington County Community School Corporation, 2012 Teacher of the Year, Huntington, IN


Class Curriculum

  Introduction to the Course
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  Systematic Approach
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  Conclusion - Wrap-Up
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Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course can begin at any time.
How long do I have access to the course?
After enrollment, students have access to this course for 30 days. You determine how fast or slow you want to progress through the course during this time.
Can I share my course with colleagues?
Sorry, course sharing is not allowed. Our Terms of Use specify that one registration fee allows access for just one person. However, we are happy to offer group discounts. Give us a call at (888) 376-0448 to get the details.
Can I get continuing education credits?
Most likely! With prior approval from your school district, participants may receive credit for up to 10 hours of professional development for this two-course combo. A Certificate of Completion is provided to participants when they complete all aspects of the course.
Can I earn graduate credit?
Thanks to a partnership with the Midwest Teachers Institute, educators who enroll in two eligible webAcademy courses simultaneously can earn three hours of nationally-accredited graduate credit for just $375. These are non-degree credits which are designed for professional certification renewals and salary step increases. Contact Brady Smekens, Director of Professional Development, for details, (888) 376-0448.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are not satisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 10 days, and we will give you a full refund.
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